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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Learning to care for our koalas

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Photo courtesy Friends of the Koala
Photo courtesy Friends of the Koala

With the future of the koala populations in our region coming under increasing threat and pressure, many people are looking for ways to help out but don’t know where to start.

If this sounds like you, you might be interested to know that Friends of the Koala (FoK) is holding an introductory training day tomorrow (Saturday March 1).

The group doesn’t expect that everyone who completes the basic training will jump into high-level commitment or even necessarily join up.

The important thing is that more people living around Australia’s iconic species learn what to do in case of emergency – a bit like koala first aid.

‘Directly or indirectly, each and every one of us can do something to assist the survival of our precious koalas. Friends of the Koala provides the perfect organisational framework for those people who want to help but are not sure how they can contribute,’ said FoK president Lorraine Vass.

‘The important thing is that people who are interested in the future of our koalas take such opportunities to become more knowledgeable about all aspects of koala conservation, which includes the three Rs – rescue, rehabilitation and release – and get to network with kindred souls,’ said care co-ordinator Pat Barnidge.

But that’s not to say FoK isn’t looking for more active members as well.

‘The Koala Care Centre we operate in Lismore provides an opportunity for people wanting to work directly with koalas. In our system of rostered teams, caring does not have to be a 24-hour commitment and there is a wide range of other activities in which volunteers can become involved,’ Pat added.

Tomorrow’s agenda includes rescue techniques, basic koala assessment and handling, transportation, koala food (leaf) collection and tree identification, and the care of koalas in the Friends of the Koala Care Centre.

The Friends of the Koala basic training day starts at 9am and runs until 3pm, at room Z181A, Southern Cross University, Rifle Range Road, Lismore.

Cost is $10 and covers morning tea and lunch.

Bookings are essential. Please phone 6622 1233.


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